Security guards last week had to break the windows of Thailand Finance Minister Suchart Jaovisidha's BMW 520 with a sledgehammer after the car's computer system failed, locking the official and his driver inside. "I could hardly breathe at that time, so I decided to gesture to the guards to help, but it took a long time before they realized what was going on," Suchart told the Bangkok Post. He said the car's doors and windows locked automatically when the device failed. The air conditioning also shut down. Suchart said he and his driver had tried to break the windows by kicking them: "At that moment, I knew that German car had very strong windows," he said.
CUTS LIKE A KNIFE - To demonstrate commercial clutter, CJ Fraleigh, executive director of General Motors' advertising, had market researchers ask 100 people whether they could remember just one TV commercial from the previous evening. No one could. He gave the results to CEO Rick Wagoner, who replied: "So can I cut your ad budget then?" Fraleigh, who retold the anecdote to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit last week, had to backtrack quickly: "No, that's not the point," he told Wagoner.
SUPERWOMAN - Add survivor to Susan Helper's background. Helper, an assistant economics professor at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, is an Automotive News PACE Awards judge. On May 9, she was shot by a man who is accused of killing one person at the school. According to The Plain Dealer, Helper came face to face with the gunman in a hallway, who fired as she shut her office door. Helper felt "a big blast of air on my chest." The bullet hit her sternum, bounced off and snagged on her sweater. Says her husband, Randy Schutt, "She's Superwoman. Bullets just bounce off her."